Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Given I will be once again back on the RC campus this Friday, I've been waxing a little nostalgic for the four years I spent there. It's still one of the prettiest campuses I've seen, particularly in the spring, tucked back off the main thoroughfare through town so much so that you wouldn't even know it existed. I spent alot of my time there in the arts building working on theatre related stuff, alot of time in the library between classes, either upstairs making my way through the collection, or in the basement napping amongst the periodiocals. Now I probably would have spent all that time online in some computer lab, but then, I barely knew what the internet was. My classes were heavy on women's writing, also with alot of theatre history and drama, and a couple writing classes thrown in. Through the middle years, I actually wasn't writing all that much, but a jag of it that started in the spring of junior year that continued through graduation. So much of my developing interest in women's writing, which would lead me to where I am today with my work and the press has it's foundations in that period. I was rather spoiled when it came to having amazing professors who made women's writing as central to the canon as men's, or who offered women-centered courses. I guess at the time I didn't realize how rare and wonderful that was, particularly at the undergrad level. I continued to seek those sorts of courses out at DePaul, of course, but the offerings seemed less abundant even though the department was exponentially larger.

It actually had it's start as a women's college a hundred fifty years before (the most famous alum is Jane Addams) and was once located downtown along the river. There are all sorts of archival photos of turn of the century ladies dong collegiate things like prancing around the maypole and rowing boats. They moved to the new campus in the 60's, so there are some interested mid-century buildings (at some point while my sister was attending they actually modernized alot of the classrooms in Scarborough Hall, but I sort of liked the weird built-in tables, greenish tinged walls, and institutional furniture. I wound up there almost accidently after coming back from North Carolina and fully intended to go somewhere else, but the next fall landed there because it was close, I could live at home, and they let me attend almost for free because my transfer grades were good. It was actually the perfect little liberal arts college I needed with very small classes and really great professors--a bit of a change from UNCW which was big and overly laid back (though by no means as huge as Chapel Hill) and where you could easily feel a little lost.

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